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Top London Attractions - London Apartments UKLondon is home to some of the most iconic attractions in the world, from historic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London to more recent constructions like the London Eye. Here we pick our top must-see attractions for London visitors.
Big BenBig Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is generally extended to refer to the clock or the clock tower as well. It is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world. The clock tower was completed in 1859 and the Great Clock started on 31 May, with the Great Bell's strikes heard for the first time on 11 July and the quarter bells first chimed on 7 September. The clock tower has become one of the most prominent symbols of both London and England.
Houses of ParliamentThe history of the Houses of Parliament spans over 900 years from the Anglo-Saxons to the present. Once a royal residence, the Palace of Westminster – more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament – has been the seat of the British Government since the 16th Century. Visitors from all over the world can visit Parliament to attend debates, watch committees and tour its labyrinth of ancient, Gothic and modern buildings, including the Clock Tower affectionately known as Big Ben. Westminster Hall is the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate. It has played a central role in 900 years of British history, with the major institutions of the British state having grown up directly around it
Tower BridgeTower Bridge (built 1886-1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is the next bridge upstream. Tower Bridge is one of the most ingenious examples of Victorian engineering. The lifting bridge was designed to allow large ships to pass unobstructed along the Thames. It is still raised and lowered two or three times a day and is just as awe-inspiring today as it was when it was first built. The bridge also houses an excellent exhibition about the history and mechanics of the bridge and offers fantastic views of the city from its high-level walkways.
Buckingham PalaceBuckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. If you have never been to London before, a visit to Her Majesty’s place of residence is a must. Of the Palace’s 775 rooms, only the 19 State Rooms – used by the Queen and her guests for official and state entertaining – are open to the public. These are well worth seeing as they contain some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto, sculpture by Canova and priceless pieces of porcelain and furniture. Visitors can also take a stroll around part of the Palace gardens during the opening weeks.
Changing the GuardThis colourful ceremony is one of the 'must sees' on a trip to London. Changing the Guard or Guard Mounting is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard. The Guard which mounts at Buckingham Palace is called The Queen’s Guard and is divided into two Detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment (which is responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace), and the St. James’s Palace Detachment, (which guards St. James’s Palace). These guard duties are normally provided by a battalion of the Household Division and occasionally by other infantry battalions or other units. When Guardsmen are on duty, the soldiers are drawn from one of the five regiments of Foot Guards in the British Army: the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Grenadier Guards and the Coldstream Guards.
Westminster AbbeyKings, queens, statesmen and soldiers; poets, priests, heroes and villains - the Abbey is a must-see living pageant of British history. Westminster Abbey is steeped in more than a thousand years of history. Benedictine monks first came to this site in the middle of the tenth century, establishing a tradition of daily worship which continues to this day. The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of seventeen monarchs. The present church, begun by Henry III in 1245, is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country, with the medieval shrine of an Anglo-Saxon saint still at its heart. A treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artefacts, Westminster Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation's history are buried or commemorated. Taken as a whole the tombs and memorials comprise the most significant single collection of monumental sculpture anywhere in the United Kingdom. The Library and Muniment Room houses the important (and growing) collections of archives, printed books and manuscripts belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, providing a centre for their study and for research into all aspects of the Abbey's long and varied history.
British MuseumFounded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history. Visitors enjoy a unique comparison of the treasures of world cultures under one roof, centred around the magnificent Great Court. World-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies are visited by millions of visitors per year. There is also a programme of special exhibitions and daily gallery tours, talks and guided tours.
National GalleryThe crowning glory of Trafalgar Square, London's National Gallery is a vast space, filled to the rafters with Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries. In this iconic art gallery you can find works by masters such as Van Gogh, da Vinci, Botticelli, Constable, Renoir, Titian and Stubbs.
St Paul's CathedralChristopher Wren’s masterpiece has squatted imposingly in the City of London for the past 300 years. It famously withstood the bombardment of the Blitz and has become something of a monument to the determination and resilience of London and Londoners in general. Visit the cathedral to admire its architectural splendor and marvel at the uncanny acoustics in the famous Whispering Gallery. Venture down to the crypt and discover the tombs and memorials of some of the nation’s greatest heroes such as Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Visitors can climb to the Golden Gallery to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across London.
The Tower of LondonTake a tour around the Tower of London, one of the world's most famous buildings. It is impossible not to be drawn in by the (often grisly) history of the Tower of London. See the spot where Anne Boleyn was beheaded, the infamous White Tower where Richard III imprisoned his young nephews, and, of course, the Crown Jewels, still proudly in place despite the best efforts of Colonel Blood in 1671. Despite its grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress.
The London EyeThe London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom. Taller than Big Ben, the London Eye offers the most spectacular views of the city, with visibility of up to 40km in all directions. Originally built as a temporary structure, the Eye has proved so successful that it looks set to remain one of the best-loved landmarks on the London skyline.
Covent GardenAt the very heart of London, Covent Garden is an inspiring cultural and retail district which offers visitors a truly unique experience. From the speciality shops, to a huge choice of bars, restaurants & cafés, the Apple craft market and entertainment from street performers, there’s an enormous amount on offer; and with everything housed in and around the iconic Market Building and Piazzas, Covent Garden is an architectural masterpiece which attracts visitors from all over the world.